Edgar Allan Poe
(January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849) was an American writer, poet, editor
and literary critic
, considered part of the American Romantic Movement
. Best known for his tales of mystery
and the macabre
, Poe was one of the earliest American practitioners of the short story and is considered the inventor of the detective-fiction
genre. He is further credited with contributing to the emerging genre of science fiction
. He was the first well-known American writer to try to earn a living through writing alone, resulting in a financially difficult life and career.
He attended the University of Virginia for one semester but left due to lack of money. Poe's publishing career began humbly, with an anonymous collection of poems, Tamerlane and Other Poems (1827), credited only to "a Bostonian". Poe switched his focus to prose and spent the next several years working for literary journals and periodicals, becoming known for his own style of literary criticism. In January 1845, Poe published his poem "The Raven" to instant success. His wife died of tuberculosis two years later. He began planning to produce his own journal, The Penn (later renamed The Stylus), though he died before it could be produced.
Poe and his works influenced literature in the United States and around the world, as well as in specialized fields, such as cosmology and cryptography. Poe and his work appear throughout popular culture in literature, music, films, and television. A number of his homes are dedicated museums today.